Apple's iPod gets its own product development team

Apple Computer has created two product development teams organized around its most prominent products, the Macintosh computer and the iPod music player, a company spokesman confirmed Thursday.

Jon Rubinstein will run the new iPod division, Apple said. Timothy Cook will be in charge of the Macintosh division while Tim Bucher runs the hardware engineering team for the Mac.

"This organizational refinement will focus our talent and resources even more precisely on our industry leading Macintosh computers and the wildly successful iPod," Apple said in a statement.

The iPod has reinvigorated Apple and its bottom line in the past year. The company shipped more iPods in the first quarter than it did Macs, according to Apple's first-quarter results.

"The iPod is a big new development, while the Mac is a more stable platform," said Roger Kay, vice president of client computing with IDC in Framingham.

A separate product development organization could help Apple organize a developer community around the iPod, Kay said. Right now, there are a lot of independent development projects bringing additional capabilities to the iPod, but Apple could help organize those developers as the device matures, he said.

"This just shows there is greater emphasis on the growth potential of the iPod line," Kay said.

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